A little History

The O’Dowd Family

 [frame align=”right”][/frame][dropcap style=”1″ size=”3″]T[/dropcap]ullyboy Farm has been a farm for hundreds of years and is mentioned in the Annals of Lough Key as part of the Rockingham Estate.    The original house was lived in by a Sheriff who would have collected rents from the tenant farmers.  Years passed and times changed and  Matt’s parents Tom and Bridie (nee Quinn) moved from Galway and bought Tullyboy Farm for £3,700 in the 1950’s and reared their family of 5, Tom, Breege, Marion, Matt and Teresa on it.  When they were moving their stock from Galway, as they came down the road a turkey cock flew out of the lorry and when they arrived at Tullyboy, he was sitting in the front ‘lawn’ (field) waiting for them, he knew where home was!   The main stock at that time  was 10 cows, 30 sheep and about 50 hens. 

A visit from the Travelling Shop was the highlight of the week in the rural calendar at that time.  Bridie used to sell the hen’s eggs to the two travelling shops run by Joe Mahon from Boyle and Micheal Gannon from Carrick on Shannon and would get her groceries to keep the family for the week.  This was supplemented by killing the odd pig and the vegetable garden.  She was a great baker of  tarts with a ready supply of apples from the small orchard and home grown rhubarb.

 

The Birth of the Visitor Farm

Matt and Eileen took over in 1987 and converted the coach house buildings to tourist accommodation.  The tourists often mentioned how much they enjoyed the geese and animals and  from this was born the idea to open a visitor farm.  The farm first opened its doors in 1992 with the  official opening in 1993.

The main farming enterprise for years was dairying but in 2000 the decision was taken to change to sheep, cattle and horses as it combined better with the visitor farm.  As a family owned farm we receive no state funding and every year we try to improve  and add something new to give better value for money to our visitors and to add interest.

We like to think of Tullyboy Farm as a real working farm as opposed to a pet farm  where farming is still a family affair embracing traditional ways and the contact with older wisdoms.  Our wish is  to maintain the  continuity of love for the land and its domestic animals which was always a part of rural Ireland  and the uncommercial atmosphere on the farm reflects this.   We try to emulate  that  lifestyle that respects old courtesies by hopefully giving our visitors a warm Irish Welcome where the habit of kindness to strangers which was once a normal part of Irish life can still  be found on Tullyboy Farm.

 

Famous Visitors

Over the years we have had a good few famous people coming through our doors, several actors including Dermott Morgan (Father Ted)  who was a lovely man and visited often.  President Mary McAleese often called here with her children and indeed was ‘nipped’ in the leg by one of our geese, but she took it in good stead, and was a very good sport.   Several TV programmes have filmed here including RTE’s Nationwide, The Den, TnaG and Matt the Farmer has been on TV3’s Ireland AM with some of our animals.


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Testimonials

Had a fun time with all the lovely animals my favorite was the little hens but I also liked the ducks, they where funny as they walked around in a big group making quaking noises as they walked
Had a great time, i really loved the little lambs. We went to see the baby cows and they were having there lunch.Farmer Matt let us help feed them there milk and we then helped put clean straw in the barn so they could go to sleep.



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